We’re taking a little rest this afternoon from a morning spent outside. The rain finally stopped and the sun finally dried up the jungle of weeds enough for me to make inroads to some outdoor spaces. Today I cleaned out and reclaimed the shade house. It was overgrown with nasturtiums, which filled an entire trash can when I was done.

I wish I could say that it’s quiet this lazy afternoon. Instead, the foot massager is rumbling under my husband’s feet. The battery charger is humming as it recharges the lawn mower battery. The roomba is making its daily rounds on the tile floors. The water heater is blowing off air in the closet. It all adds up to an electrical dull roar. My ears are actually ringing.

As an antidote, I’ll write about my treadle sewing machine. I believe I mentioned that I would tell the story in a blogpost long ago. Here goes.

When I was a teenager, I came upon a White treadle machine cabinet in my uncle’s garage. This was a dark, damp one-car garage with the lath and plaster walls exposed. He used the cabinet drawers to store his tools. The little twigs were broken off from the handles, and the top was in bad shape. There was no machine inside.

When I asked my uncle and my mom about it, I was told this story.

The sewing machine sat in the front hallway of their childhood home in Indiana. It was nestled under the stairs. One day, a traveling salesman knocked on the door. His pitch was that people wanted to update their old treadle machines. All the neighbors were electrifying theirs. He offered to install a motor, my grandma agreed, and off he went with the machine.

He never returned.

When I asked my mom if they pursued legal action, what about the receipt and so on, she just shrugged her shoulders. She was only a kid, so life just happened and what could you do? The cabinet was pretty, and it remained in its place.

I don’t know how the cabinet came to California. I assume it came with Grandma when she came out to live with Uncle Kenny. Years passed, and the time came to clean out the house. Grandma was moving to my aunt’s house, and no one wanted it, so I got to be the keeper of the beautiful cabinet.

I took it with me when I moved into my first apartment. It was the eighties, so lacy cloths and doilies were strategically draped to cover the dings and scrapes.

It came with us when I married and we set up our first house. But by the 2000’s, and our second home, it had passed its prime. I wanted to keep it for sentimental reasons, but we had no room. So I contacted all the family members I could think of to offer it on to them. No one wanted it. The day came when I said good bye and let it go at the Goodwill.

Fast forward twenty years. We were empty nesters, and I once again had room. I had always regretted letting it go, so I started looking at treadles on Craigslist. I took my time, knowing that if it was meant to be, then the right replacement would present itself.

After a year or so, it did.

The cabinet was an exact match to my grandparents’. So maybe the machine was a match as well?

Now here’s where the story becomes interesting. In my haste to check out all the parts and pieces and workings of the machine while negotiating with the seller, I didn’t take the time to look at the serial number. When I got it home and starting cleaning it up, I finally looked . . .

What??? It had been scratched off. Why would anyone do that? It looks like someone took a drill and went to town on the numbers to obscure them. Why? Could it have been a so-called traveling salesman who really was a thief destroying the evidence?

AND … the machine had been electrified after-the-fact . . .

The first thing my wonderful husband did for me was to uninstall the motor from the machine when we got it home. I wanted it treadle only. And this add-on is very creepy, wouldn’t you agree?

I wonder how many treadles were stolen, refurbished with electricity, then re-sold with their serial numbers removed? Are you thinking what I’m thinking? What are the odds that this could be my grandmother’s machine?


But it’s a good story. And I love this machine that sews beautifully, elegantly, and most of all, quietly.

Sticking With It

New month, new challenge …

You can click the link here to join in, or to see what others are up to.


I’m sticking with the basket under my desk when choosing the monthly projects I want finished. Great motivation lies in the prospect of seeing it emptied and moved out. I have zero motivation to complete the projects that lie within, so the OMG will get me there.

On top of the pile is another repair job created by Audrey, the naughty dog. Good thing she’s cute.

This is Miss Audrey. I even made her a quilt of her own.

Audrey came to live with us, along with our daughter, for a season last year. She disapproved of being left behind when we’d go out. To be clear, she was not left all alone, or for very long. Even with the companionship of our dog, she’d destroy things. We’d return home to scenes like these.

The interrogation

One day, Miss Audrey chewed up a block in this quilt.

I managed to cobble together a patch for the triangular piece she ripped to shreds.

This was one of my first quilts. I put it together from a bag of precut triangles I found at the thrift store. I didn’t know what I was doing, and I didn’t quilt in the blue triangles at all due to lack of confidence.

But with this piecemeal patch needing extra security, I’m going to go back in and quilt all the puffy blue parts. Then this quilt will be truly complete. I picked up some fan templates and some pounce at my thrift store. I haven’t worked with these things before, and I know they’re obsolete. But it’ll be a novel experience, and isn’t variety the spice of life?

Under The Wire

Well this month flew by. The goal I set for the month of February was to repair all the unraveling seams on a crocheted throw. I think it’s actually a twin sized bedspread.

I finished with only one day to spare.

And here I thought I was maybe being a little too easy on myself when I set this goal. Ha! The process was doable, and I had plenty of time. But I was hit with a challenge which presented itself: Boredom. Tedium. Even a little anger, as in: “THIS is a prime example of why we can’t have anything nice around here.” (You know I’m joking on that last one. I’ll choose people (and pets) over things every time.)

It started out fun. I made a special trip to Hobby Lobby to pick up a cute little ball of perle cotton. Hobby Lobby is fun. I hadn’t stitched up broken crochet chains before. When I was successful it made me feel clever. That was fun. But after several repairs, with more in sight, the fun factor was gone. The more I’d fix, the more I’d find. Had it not been for this challenge, the throw would be, well, thrown, unfinished, back into the basket. So thank you, Elm Street quilts, for hosting this. I couldn’t/wouldn’t have done it without you.

Here’s the link to the finish party: https://www.elmstreetquilts.com/2023/02/Feb23OMGFinish.html

Now it graces the foot of the guest bed. It’ll be safe from paws and claws there. We’re pretty good about keeping the spare room door closed.

One thing’s for sure: It won’t be living on that couch anymore, believe you me. And if any seams happen to separate from here on out, well, too bad so sad.

96. Maranatha

Here we are, and so soon. The final block in the book. And the last verses of the last book of the Bible:

“The Spirit and the Bride say “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”

96. Water Beauty

This last quilt block was an unusual one to make. The name “Water Beauty” explains that maybe it’s a water lily? And the connection is to the “water of life”?

There’s a new movie/documentary being promoted right now, called “Jesus Revolution.” I’m not sure if I’ll go to see it. I don’t think I can separate Kelsey Grammer from “Dr. Frazier Crane.” Besides, I was in high school in Southern California in the 70’s, so I experienced the Jesus Movement firsthand. I attended Chuck Smith’s services. I’ll share a little from what I remember.

I was what you’d call a goodie two shoes. Actually, I was a scaredy cat and keeping on the straight and narrow was the safest way to grow up in my opinion. My high school sorted itself into these groups: the “soce’s”, the “jocks”, and the “bags”. I never knew what “bags” stood for, they were the scary students that came to school stoned. I avoided making eye contact with the “bags.” Then the Jesus Movement happened. I remember seeing “bags” completely transformed. One day they’d be sleeping through the class period. The next morning they were smiling, friendly, and enthusiastic about sharing the gospel. They carried the Living Bible around, a green hardback, or the paperback Good News Bible. They’d consume the Word while eating lunch on the quad. The change was genuine.

I was a Christian, and went to weeknight Bible studies with mutual friends. They were there reading their Bibles, thirsty, open, real. We grew together in faith.

The Jesus Movement rippled through all the different denominations. Maybe it was in part because of our baby boomer population, but most all church youth groups grew to standing room only. We were discussing “The Late Great Planet Earth” by Hal Lindsey. The end times was on all of our minds. The Calvary Chapel nearest me was in a stately old movie theater. They would have movie nights, and show “A Thief in the Night” on a regular basis. We felt we were in the last days for sure.

A Thief in the Night

The music was everywhere. Free concerts were abundant. I still have a stack of albums, of which I have no means to play, of Mustard Seed Faith, Larry Norman, Keith Green, 2nd Chapter of Acts, Pam Mark Hall, Love Song, Phil Keaggy, Barry McGuire, Malcolm and Alwyn, Honeytree, Children of the Day, Karen Rafferty, Twila Paris, Wendy and Mary, and so many more, all purchased at their concerts.

Back to this final quilt block. It reminds me of a spaceship, which reminds me of Larry Norman’s album, “Only Visiting This Planet.” He would close his Friday Night Concerts out at Point Loma College with a certain song, “One Way”. We’d all point our index fingers to the sky and sing along, as there were no cell phones to wave.

One way, one way to Heaven
Hold up high your hands (we’d sing “point your fingers high”)
One way, free and forgiven
Children of the Lamb

Two roads diverged in the middle of my life
I heard a wise man say
And I took the one less traveled by
And that’s made the difference, every night and every day

So I say one way, one way to Heaven
Hold your heads up high
Follow, free and forgiven
Children of the sky
Children of the sky, halelu
Children of the sky

This finger pointing became a “thing” of the Jesus Movement. When we’d pass another believer in a school hallway, or in traffic, we’d point to heaven and smile. It wordlessly conveyed this message: Remember, we are only visiting this planet. Jesus is coming soon.

95. Penultimate

Here we are, so close to the end. So soon.

I started this blog with a book and a project, the Bible Sampler Quilt, 96 Classic Quilt Blocks Inspired by the Bible.

I numbered each post to match its corresponding block. I found as my blogging confidence grew, I posted about other things too. Those posts did not get numbered so I could keep the project in order. Lately I’ve been posting more about other things, and I know exactly why.

I’m doing the usual. When I find myself approaching a finish line, I drag my feet. I slow down my reading near the end of a good book. I stay through the credits at the movies. I’m nearly last to leave at parties, because I’m the one who helps clear up, which is sometimes the best part. I sip the last drops of coffee slowly and chew the last bite of dessert like a sloth. I want to make sure I savored it all before it is done.

I think jumping in to the OMG (One Monthly Goal) this year is having a ripple effect on me. It nudged this project into view while I was picking out which UFOs to finish. There is a danger in savoring something too long; it may reach its saturation point, then grow stale. Get done and get out while you’re still wanting more.

Anyways, ready or not, here I am, at the second to last quilt block, number 95. I don’t want this to end. But wait! I’ll not stop at 96! I’ll go for the perfect 100, like Job’s life. This will make a layout of 10 by 10 possible. I love square quilts. It’ll be fun finding four more blocks to create and write about. Surely after 100 blocks, I’ll happily call this DONE.

Here it is, block number 95.

Revelation 22:10-16

And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy. Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

The Basket Under My Desk

Here’s the basket I mentioned in my last post.

Yes, I tidied up for the photo, but not in the basket

I have other projects hanging on hangers, folded in tote bags, stowed in bins, and sitting in cute baskets on shelves, lest you mistakenly think this is the sum total of my UFOs. I don’t think you thought that. We find each other showing up in the same places for a reason. If you’re reading this as a link from the Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Challenge, then you too probably have too many projects to count in various stages of development. I’m guessing being in the middle of a project is your favorite part too, rather than starting or finishing. I tend to stretch things out as long as I can.

But I put a few things in this basket that I wanted to complete. In these cases, I’m over it, being in the middle that is. I thought shoving them under my feet and bumping them every time I sat down would annoy me enough to get at them.

But it didn’t. They lingered. And lingered. Ugh. What I needed was a challenge, and Elm Street Quilts has the one that works for me. My plan is to work my way through this heap month by month. I already feel better after January’s finish went away. That basket will be out from under my feet before long. Thank you ladies of the OMG.

My goal for February is a small one, being that it’s a short month, with taxes to prep, and blah blah blah. This crocheted lovely drapes a couch, but I threw it in the basket ages ago because a certain visiting dog (ahem Audrey), clawed it every time she jumped up on that couch (which is not allowed.)

I haven’t counted, but there are a LOT of these to fix

I’ll spend the month quietly stitching it back together each evening as we watch our nightly episode of Heartbeat. I’m looking forward to it.

Woman With a Chicken on her Foot

. . . was just one of many photos I wish I’d snapped last week. She was sitting in her wheelchair, astride a table filled with little tourist gifts. I don’t know what those were, I focused on the scrawny chicken perched atop one wrinkled, sandaled foot. It would’ve been amazing, but also rude, to take her picture. So I didn’t.

We were in Mazatlan watching the divers risk their lives for tips.

Another sight I wish I’d been ready for was seeing big iguanas slither in and out of drainpipes on the sidewalks of Mazatlan. I DID manage to snap a photo on a basketball court.

It was running from us. I wish I had set my phone to video.

I snapped these guys as they walked down the Malecon in La Paz.

The picture I should have taken was when they were dancing and drumming, but I didn’t have any spare change, so it would have been rude.

Can you see the kite surfers? I wish you could see how they flew and spun through the air.

La Paz pier

I took some great photos too. But I have those. I want to remember the ones that got away, so I’m writing about them today. When we were shuttled into La Paz from the ship, I saw a congregation of about six dogs sitting in an empty lot. They were your classic Mexican street dogs, medium sized, short haired, hungry-eyed. They were formed in a loose circle, apart from each other in equal distances, as if someone had arranged them on purpose. Fascinating.

The last photo fail I’m sharing today is this one at Cabo San Lucas. We were on a catamaran and snorkeling. But some humpback whales showed up as well. So much for my timing.

See that blackish lump in the water? Yep.

Oh! I almost forgot – seen on the street in Mazatlan . . .

I didn’t have time to find the shop and check it out.

It’s time to share my finish for the One Monthly Goal Challenge over at Elm Street Quilts.


I have a large basket under my desk with a pile of lingering to-dos. This one was my oldest, on the very bottom of the stack. I needed a reason to finish it, and a good reason finally presented itself. It’s going with three other baby quilts to the Birthchoice center.

Quilting is clouds and hearts
Clouds, hearts, and rainbows: sweet dreams to the little one who will be wrapped in love and promises.

Is It Any Wonder

I made this out of a ripped, stained bureau scarf. But the subject of this post is spinach today.

A little eye candy

Do you do this too? When shopping, I optimistically buy a large package of fresh spinach. Plans of healthy smoothies and salads form in my head. When I unpack the groceries, I place it in the refrigerator right up in front where I can see it.

Despite this proactive tactic, I forget about it. Life gets busy, we eat out, it eventually gets thrown away, slimy and stinky.

Today I actually noticed the current bag of spinach before it was a total loss. I could save and freeze about half of the bag’s contents. As I rinsed and picked out the good leaves, the scent of the slimy ones connected my olfactory nerve with my memory bank, resulting in a vivid memory. I was back in the cafeteria at my elementary school. I was looking down at the portion of cooked spinach in my light green melmac lunch tray. Lifted from its section with a fork, the dripping, clinging pieces of stinky spinach behaved and smelled exactly like the ones I was dealing with now.

Wait, did those hair netted cooks actually use rotting spinach? Did they know how disgusting their side dish was? It wasn’t flavored, salted, buttered, nothing. It was just cooked, but cold by the time I sat down on the long bench.

This wouldn’t be worth writing about, except for this next part. There were lunch ladies, two of them, that had the power to excuse you from the table. Once you had eaten your lunch, you had to raise your hand and wait for one of them to stroll over, inspect your lunch, then allow you to be dismissed. They wouldn’t let you go unless all your food was eaten and your place clean. One of them we nicknamed “Sea Hag”. I know, it sounds cruel, but it was chosen for a reason.

I didn’t buy lunch often, but I did on birthday day. Once a month there was a cupcake included with the menu. That day I was full from the spaghetti, the cupcake, and the carton of milk. I just couldn’t imagine eating that awful spinach. I raised my hand, hoping against hope. Sea Hag walked over, bent over my head, then declared that I had to eat it all before I could be excused. There was no negotiating. Some had tried tears.

I ate the spinach.

So lately I’ve been hearing that the “snowflakes” were created by their parents, the “boomers”. I ask you, is it any wonder? Who would blame us for our attempts to make the world a kinder, gentler place. Our protective actions were motivated by memories like this one.

I guess it’s true that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. But if I had it to do all over again, I still wouldn’t let my kids drink out of the hose, or play with the mercury from the broken thermometers, or feel guilty for not belonging to the clean plate club.

P.S. Can you fill in the blanks?

“I’m strong to the finich

‘Cause I eats me spinach,

I’m __________ the ___________ ______!”

(Toot toot)

The Reason

I meant to do my work to-day—
But a brown bird sang in the apple-tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.

And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand—
So what could I do but laugh and go?

Richard Le Gallienne

My very oldest UFO

Hello everyone,

It’s been a minute.

Why haven’t I been blogging you ask? I answer with a shrug, then point out the window where at this moment several doves are peacefully dining at the feeder. I am that lazy.

I have been simply bobbing along these past months, enjoying the swells and waves of every day life. I’ve been soaking in the sensations, sights, smells, for what they are, without making the effort to direct or interpret the meaning of all the feels. I have put no pressure on no one for no thing, including myself. It’s been wonderful.

But I just now made an impulsive decision. I’m going to join up with the One Monthly Goal challenge over at Elm Street quilts.


I did this a couple of years ago, and it was fun. I’m all about doing things that are fun right now. I met my challenges all twelve months that year. It felt very good. So I declare here and now, on this fifth day of January in the new year of 2023, that I will quilt up my oldest UFO. It will be donated to the Birthchoice Center.

I’ll be back.